NEWS & EVENTS
When Is Santa Coming? Avaya-Powered Hotline Helps NORAD Manage Record Setting Number of Calls from Eager Boys and Girls
- NORAD ready to break last year’s record number of 141,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa Program
- Record number of calls to be answered by more than 1,500 volunteers using mission-critical, Santa-ready customer engagement technology from Avaya Government Solutions
- Children from around the world and of all ages can call the Avaya-powered 1- 877-HI-NORAD hotline
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – December 15, 2016 – For the 61st consecutive year, boys and girls eager to follow Santa’s Christmas Eve travels will be calling a trusted source for timely information: the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline. Poised to answer their most pressing questions, including Santa’s estimated arrival time to the amount of weight he gains eating cookies throughout the long night, will be nearly 1,500 volunteers.
Volunteers will use Avaya Customer Engagement technology, the leading contact center solution in the market, to respond to the children of all ages who are expected to flood the hotline with calls. It’s the same technology Avaya Government Solutions uses to support the important mission of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Operations Center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., and other U.S. government agencies serving the American people. As a result, it has been extensively tested by the Department of Defense Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) and is certified to be Santa-ready.
Calls fielded by the volunteers staffing the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline have grown steadily to an estimated 691,000 since Christmas 2009. In 2015, calls from all over the globe during a single 23-hour period set a new record of 141,000 calls, topping the 2014 record of 134,970. Volunteers will be at their posts again this year from 4 a.m. MST (6 a.m. EST) on December 24 through the early morning hours of December 25.
The Avaya-powered hotline is part of a highly sophisticated program to make certain Santa makes a successful journey. NORAD experts carefully monitor his travels and ensure his safety using radar, satellites, jets, and Santa Cams positioned in strategic locations worldwide. As a result, NORAD Tracks Santa volunteers have an insider’s view of Santa’s progress to share as he soars through the night sky.
NORAD Tracks Santa began more than 60 years ago with a simple typo. A department store ad promoting a December 24 Santa hotline mistakenly listed the number of an air defense operations center in Colorado. Colonel Harry Shoup was on duty that night. Rather than hanging up, he had his team “check the radar,” find Santa’s location and share the information with every child who called. Since then, thousands of volunteers and corporate contributors have helped NORAD keep the magic alive – turning the program into an enduring and beloved annual tradition.
As this year’s wait for Santa begins, NORAD has posted family-friendly games, videos and information about Santa at www.noradsanta.org. Details about Santa’s travels will also be available on December 24 through social media, including www.youtube.com/noradtrackssanta, https://twitter.com/NoradSanta and https://www.instagram.com/noradtrackssanta_official/ .
“We are very proud to have our technology serve the world’s children, many of whom have the same question – “Where’s Santa?” Avaya Government Solutions is pleased to help the North American Aerospace Defense Command keep the NORAD Tracks Santa tradition alive for Santa fans around the globe. Every day, we are proud to support NORAD’s overall mission.”
-- Jerry Dotson, VP, Avaya Government Solutions
· 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) --staffed beginning 4 a.m. MST/6 a.m. EST on 12/24/2016
About Avaya Government Solutions
Avaya Government Solutions offers communication and collaboration solutions to support citizens, government employees and warfighters. With our technology and professional services team, agencies can bring the right people together with the right information at the right time. For more information, visit www.avayagov.com.
Avaya enables the mission critical, real-time communication applications of the world’s most important operations. As the global leader in delivering superior communications experiences, Avaya provides the most complete portfolio of software and services for contact center and unified communications with integrated, secure networking— offered on premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid. Today’s digital world requires some form of communications enablement, and no other company is better positioned to do this than Avaya. For more information, please visit www.avaya.com.
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